Shelter was commissioned by the Turning Point Ensemble in 2021 for its 1+1+1 project that paired composers with individual members of the ensemble and, in this case, a videographer. Harpist Janelle Nadeau and I began this collaboration with a conversation regarding the silver linings of the previous pandemic year: specifically, the slowed pace of life and the strengthened bonds with our children through the additional time spent at home. I asked Janelle if there were any songs that she sang to her children, and one that she mentioned was Eva Cassidy’s cover of “Songbird”. Shelter references this song, featuring small bursts of activity that slow to stillness. In these moments of pause, fragments of the melody of “Songbird” are quoted, which in turn set off subsequent flurries of movement. The contrast between agitation and calm mirrors the emotional turbulence of the pandemic year juxtaposed with the tranquil, protective spaces created to shelter loved ones both young and old.